Most of the money will be given in the form of grants to local organizations.
SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio officials said they will allocate $26 million for mental health resources and care — with the majority doled out through a large competitive process — amid a period when Texans continue to recover from a debilitating pandemic and other recent crises.
The announcement should slightly reduce the state’s lack of spending on behavioral health services per capita. According to the US Addiction Centers, only three states fall below Texas in this region; the Lone Star State spends about $45 per capita.
“We need to focus more on expanding access to care, expanding access to treatment and really focus on reducing the stigma associated with seeking this treatment from individuals and families before they don’t need a crisis,” said Jelynne Leblance Jamison, CEO. for the Health Services Center.
The $26 million comes from federal COVID-19 relief funds and will be spent over the next two years, according to the city. $15 million of this amount will be spent on youth care, while the remaining $11 million will be split between programs for adults; homeless residents and children preparing to leave foster homes; and other educational and crisis response initiatives.
According to Jamison, it is essential to provide mental health care to individuals before they escalate into crisis.
“A lot of times people have anxiety or depression or other signs of more serious mental health diagnoses, and they don’t really know what it is or why,” she said, adding that difficult-to-navigate systems play a role in discouraging individuals from pursuing the care they need.
“It will take a comprehensive strategy to be available to people in need,” added Jamison.
Local organizations and nonprofits hoping to get a piece of the pie can submit a proposal now. Winners are expected to be named in early 2023.
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